There will be an opportunity to Gift Aid your donation, and/or to direct your gift to the brothers, or sisters or a particular house, after you have completed the final page on PayPal (PayPal account not required).

Covid19 update

Given the advice we have received from the Government and our Archbishops we must, with regret, confirm that we remain unable to welcome people on Retreat to our SSF houses or invite them to join us for worship in our Chapels. We will remain closed until the guidance from the Government and Archbishops suggests that we may open safely. When we are in a position to welcome guests again we will publish this information on our website. 

Foodbank in Lockdown

Michael Jacob writes;

During Lockdown Br Benedict and I have been helping at a Foodbank based in St Aidan’s church, Harehills. The numbers have increased steadily each week and a small band of volunteers have been able to supply many food parcels thanks to the generosity of a local Morrisons supermarket, individual donations, local charities (freedom_4_girls amongst others) and local faith communities including the Mosques and the Gurdwara in the area. 295 people received a parcel this last Sunday. 

New Novices for SSF

Two new men were admitted to the Novitiate at Evening Prayer in Alnmouth Friary. Jake Brennen and Danny Garrett were admitted by Br Philip Bartholomew (the Assistant Minister). Jake will be known in the Community as Br Patrick and Danny as Br Simeon. We assure them of our prayers as they continue to discern their Vocations in Alnmouth. Deo Gratias!

Br Vincent RIP

Br Vincent, who had became unwell a few weeks ago, died early this morning (around 1.30am). Vincent was born in 1933 and was made a Postulant in the Society of St Francis by Fr Algy in 1954. Following Profession in 1957 he served in different houses in the Province but was latterly based in Hilfield Friary where his beautiful ‘secret garden’ (which contained a unique rhododendron collection) became justly famous.

His Funeral Mass will be celebrated in Hilfield Friary at a later date but, because of current restrictions, it can not be open to the public. It is, however, anticipated that the service will be recorded and/or live-streamed. May he Rest in Peace!

Br Vincent SSF

Please pray for Br Vincent

Brother Vincent was taken into Dorchester Hospital this week. He suffered a seizure and a heart attack. He remains unconscious. The doctors have taken Vincent off everything except liquid. We suspect that the end is very near now. The hospital staff says he is very comfortable, but apparently it is known for people to remain in this condition or state for a considerable time. He has received the Last Rites. Pray for dear Vincent – and for the staff in Dorchester Hospital who are caring for him, and all at Hilfield Friary.

Alnmouth and the 2.6 challenge

Some photos from today (and previously):

Br Michael skipping for twenty six minutes
Walking five miles a day on the same terrace takes its toll…
26 Candles; signs of our prayers

Alnmouth Brothers run the COVID Marathon?

Alnmouth Brothers are taking part in the ‘2.6 challenge’ over the next few days. This is an initiative which seeks to offset the impact of COVID19 on the charitable sector. The Alnmouth Brothers have chosen L’Arche Edinburgh as the charity they wish to support. Various Brothers will be doing different things: Br Micael Christoffer will be skipping for twenty six minutes (in his habit); Br John will walk the equivalent of 2.6 miles in the grounds and Br Joe will ‘donate’ 2.6 miles of his 5 mile daily walk to the cause. Please click here to donate if so minded.

A service for Passion Sunday (the fifth Sunday in Lent)

As many provinces have suspended public worship, the Anglican Communion Office has put together a brief video-based Service of the Word for Passion Sunday, featuring prayers written especially for this Sunday – the Fifth Sunday in Lent – which has been designated as a worldwide day of prayer for repentance and reconciliation in the Anglican Communion.

The service is led by the Revd Neil Vigers from the Anglican Communion Office’s Department for Unity Faith and Order. Readings were recorded for us by Archbishop Philip Freier (Melbourne, Australia); Archbishop Thabo Makgoba (Cape Town, Southern Africa); Archbishop Ian Ernest (Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome); and Dean Hosam Naoum (St George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem). The homily is given by Bishop Moon Hing (West Malaysia, South East Asia).

The songs were recorded before the Covid-19 pandemic at St Mary’s Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Washington National Cathedral, Washington DC, USA; the Anglican Church of Canada General Synod; and the 16th Meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka, Zambia.

The Service may be accessed by clicking here.

Cancellation of Vocations event

From Sr Sue CSF:

In line with the recent government and church of England guidance regarding COVID 19 we are cancelling the Enquirers Day previously scheduled for Saturday 28th March.   In view of the current uncertainty about how long the crisis will last we are not at this stage planning another event before the autumn.  If the situation changes we will let you know of any subsequent plans.

However we already have an Enquirers Day planned for Saturday October 24th. If you wish to book a place for that event now you are welcome to do so – please let me know.

I hope you and those dear to you remain well in these very challenging times.

May the Lord give you Peace,

Sue CSF

COVID 19 Precautions

A Cross at La Verna

From the Society of St Francis:

Given the advice we have received from the Government and the Archbishops, we must, with regret, announce today that we are unable to welcome people on retreat to our SSF houses (Alnmouth, Glasshampton and Hilfield) from now until Monday 20th April (at the earliest). This decision will obviously be reviewed as circumstances demand.

Also, in line with guidance from the National Church (click here), we will be suspending public worship in our Chapels until further notice. The Community, however, will continue to pray, so you can be sure that prayer in our houses remains at the hearts of our lives.

With a number of elderly brothers and community members who are at risk, we believe that we must enter a period of social distancing for their safety and the safety of all our guests.

If you would like to send us any intercessions for our prayers please send them to: Alnmouth, Glasshampton or Hilfield.

Peace and all good

Vocations Event in Southwark!

Life as a Franciscan Sister or Brother… could this be for me? A day to explore Franciscan Community life in the Church of England

  • Franciscan sisters and brothers share their stories of God’s call and their life in community
  • DVDs on St Francis and Franciscans today to help us reflect, with opportunities for discussion
  • Time for your questions…
  • Lunch, tea & coffee provided.

DATE: Saturday 28th March 2020 10.00am – 4.00pm

Location: The Community of St Francis, St Alphege Clergy House, Pocock Street, London, SE1 0BJ

Booking Essential

To book: Contact Sue CSF (click here) or phone 0207 928 7121 with your name and contact details.

Two new Novices for SSF

Br Benedict with Br Anthony (L) and Br John Taylor (R)

On Saturday 18th January 2020 Br Benedict (the Minister Provincial) admitted Anthony Clarke and John Taylor to the Novitiate of the Society of St Francis. Br Anthony and Br John Taylor will remain in Alnmouth before moving to a new Friary in the summer months. God Willing we will be joined by two other men wanting to test their Vocation to Religious Life within the Society of St Francis in February.

Sr Judith Ann CSF RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Judith Ann CSF, who died yesterday morning, in Lincoln County Hospital, after a short acute illness. She was 80 years old and in the 30th year of her profession in vows.
May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Please remember also her sister Eileen, and her nieces and nephews, in your prayers.

Br Anselm SSF RIP

Br Anselm with Bishop John (of Worcester) on the 60th Anniversary of his Profession

Br Anselm died on Monday 30th December 2019. As a Brother he served in many different capacities and notably as Minister Provincial and Headmaster of Hooke School. Stationed latterly in Glasshampton, Anselm had a greatly appreciated ministry of Spiritual Direction and was a faithful friend and counsellor to many who came to the Monastery. We assure his family and especially Helen and Jenny (his Sisters) of our prayers. May he Rest in Peace!

A new Archbishop of York!

The Sisters and Brothers congratulate Bishop Stephen (our Bishop Protector) on his nomination as the 98th Archbishop of York. We assure him of our love and prayers as he prepares to begin this new ministry next year. Ad Multos Annos!

Franciscan Conference in Durham

Participants from T/SSF and OSC in front of Durham Cathedral

Members of T/SSF and OSC attended a Conference in Ushaw College and Durham University organised by the Centre for Catholic Studies marking the eight hundredth anniversary of St Francis’ meeting with Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil in Damietta. One of our number (the Rev’d Thomas Sharpe n/TSSF) delivered a warmly received paper and it was wonderful to be able to hear experts in the field of Franciscan Studies speaking with passion and insight on their chosen fields. The Conference also provided an opportunity for the wider Franciscan family to meet and it was good to have the opportunity to speak with Sisters and Brothers from the Roman Catholic and Reformed Traditions.

Confirmation!

L-R: Bishop Christine, Bishop John, Anthony and Micael Christoffer SSF

Our Postulant Anthony Clarke was Confirmed by Bishop Christine Hardman (Bishop of Newcastle) at St Mary’s Stannington on Sunday. We are very grateful to Bishop Christine and to the Rev’d Catherine Pickford (the Vicar) for welcoming Anthony, John and Br Michael Christoffer so warmly!

Franciscans return to Greenbelt

(L-R): Sr Maureen CSF, Sr Louisa Ann OHP, Br Ethan Gabriel nSSF, Sr Catherine CHN,
Br Finnian nSSF, Br Hugh nSSF, Sr Monica CHN

For many years members of Anglican Religious Orders have gone to the Greenbelt Festival (which takes place at the end of August). As well as providing hospitality and a place for prayer and conversation the Sisters and Brothers were ‘on hand’ to witness to the presence of Religious in the Anglican Communion.

Brothers and Sisters go on strike!

Yesterday Brothers and Sisters accepted the invitation to join with young people throughout the world protesting about the inadequate response of many in power to the climate chaos unfolding around us. Here are some pictures:

Maureen in Lincoln
Micael Christoffer, Cristian Michael and Anthony in Alnwick.
Hugh (on holiday) in Canterbury

Day for Enquirers

Life as a Franciscan Sister or Brother… could this be for me..?

a day to explore Franciscan community life in the Church of England

  • Franciscan sisters and brothers share their stories of God’s call and their life in community
  • DVDs on St Francis and Franciscans today to help us reflect,  with opportunities for discussion
  • time for your questions …….                                      
  • Lunch, tea/coffee etc provided

Date:Saturday 26thOctober 2019:  10am – 4pm

Central London venue:  The Community of St Francis, St Alphege Clergy House, Pocock Street, London SE1 0BJ

Booking essential (by 19thOctober please)

To book:   Contact suecsf@franciscans.org.uk/ 020 7928 7121 

with your name and contact details.

“The world is my cloister”  -St Francis of Assisi

HospiceCare open garden at Alnmouth Friary

The Brothers of Alnmouth Friary were delighted to host HospiceCare North Northumberland for two days of ‘open garden,’ an event which coincided with the Alnmouth Arts Festival. Over 1,000 people visited the garden over the two days and more than £10,000 was raised to support the work of HospiceCare

Alnmouth Brothers with Rebecca, Jane and Stephen
Brs Micael Christoffer and Jason Robert with Paul from HospiceCare and Stephen

Internovitiate Conference in Hilfield Friary

Sisters and Brothers from various Anglican Communities met at Hilfield Friary to learn about Franciscanism and Creation. They heard presentations from Sr Francisca OSC (Abbess of the Poor Clare Convent in Arkley), Br Clark Berge SSF (Guardian at Hilfield) and were introduced to the beautiful – and unsullied – countryside which surrounds Hilfield by Richard Thornberry (Hilfield Community member). Huge thanks are due to the Hilfield Community for their outstanding hospitality and welcome!

Br Kentigern John SSF – Funeral Mass

Br Kentigern’s Funeral Mass and Burial will be held in Hilfield Friary on Monday 13th May, starting at 12.30.  
All are welcome, however unfortunately, due to prior bookings, we do not have any spare accommodation. 
We are also looking for further photos of Kentigern for the funeral, so if you have any please email: christophermartinssf@franciscans.org.uk
If you have any questions about the funeral please email Suzi on: hilfieldssf@franciscans.org.uk

Update: many people have kindly offered flowers for the service. The Hilfield Community would ask that, instead, donations are sent to the Joseph Weld Hospice where Kentigern spent his last weeks. Donations may be made by clicking here.

Br Kentigern SSF RIP

It is with great sadness and with the promise of the resurrection this Easter, that we can let you know that our brother Kentigern died early in the morning on Holy Saturday (20th April) aged 50 and in his 24th year of profession. He had been suffering from cancer and died peacefully at our local hospice. Funeral details will be announced on the Society’s website in due course. Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon him.

Franciscan Book Sale

The last few copies of some of our Franciscan publications are selling at a reduced price (see below). Please contact Sara Whistance at Hilfield if interested on: 01300 342311 or email passf@franciscans.org.uk Please note: prices do not include postage or packing.

Br Angelo SSF – Funeral Mass

The Funeral Mass of our Brother Angelo will be Celebrated on the 28th of March 2019 in St Peter’s Church, Woodmancote, West Sussex, BN5 9SR at 2.00pm May he rest in peace!

Br Reginald SSF – Funeral Mass

The Funeral Mass of our Brother Reginald will be Celebrated in the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Alnmouth on Wednesday 13th March at 11.30am at which the minister will preside and Br Philip Bartholomew SSF will preach. Reg’s body will be received into Church the night before (on Tuesday 12th March) and Compline will be sung there at 9.30pm. Refreshments will follow the service.

Br Angelo SSF RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of our Brother Angelo (Donald Deacon) who died in Brighton Hospital on the 21st of February. Please remember him, his family and his friends at this time.

May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!

Br Angelo SSF

Br Reginald SSF RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of our Brother Reginald who died yesterday night (Wednesday 20th February) in Alnwick Infirmary with two of his Brothers at his side. Please remember him, his family, his many friends and the Alnmouth Brothers in your prayers.

May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!

Br Reginald SSF after preaching in St John the Baptist, Alnmouth for the Patronal Festival

I can only say ‘Thank you’ to God. But while I’m here there’s something missing – questions to be answered, gaps to be filled. There’s a longing which only the vision of God can satisfy, and that when God is ready…”    

Sr Gina’s Golden Anniversary

Sr Gina celebrated her Golden Anniversary of Profession in Vows on Saturday. The Bishop of Southwark (Christopher Chessun) Presided at the Eucharist which was held in St Hugh’s Bermondsey and Lister Tonge (Dean of Monmouth) Preached. Sr Gina was joined by members of her family, Franciscan Sisters and Brothers and members of other Religious Communities.